Following a parent’s complaint, one K-8 school in Florida restricted access to a poem by Amanda Gorman that she had read at the 2021 presidential inauguration. The school moved the book in its library to a shelf for upper-grade students only. But social media posts falsely claimed Miami-Dade County had “banned” the book in all its elementary schools.
Stories by Brea Jones
Database Errors Fuel False Claims about HIV Cases in Military
The rate of new HIV infections in the military has been relatively unchanged since 2017. But social media posts falsely claim that the military has recorded a “500% increase in HIV since the COVID vaccine rollout.” A Defense Department spokesperson said errors in a military database sparked the inaccurate claim.
CNN Says Future Town Halls Will Include Live Audiences, Contrary to Online Posts
CNN was criticized by some for hosting a town hall with Donald Trump and a live audience that expressed strong support for the former president. Online posts now wrongly claim CNN will have “no more live audiences at town halls.” CNN said the claim is “fabricated” and plans a live audience at a town hall with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley in June.
Michelle Obama Not a 2024 Presidential Candidate, Contrary to Online Posts
President Joe Biden has said he will seek a second term, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson have said they will challenge him for the 2024 Democratic nomination. But social media posts falsely claim that the party “just confirmed Michelle Obama will be its nominee.” There is no evidence that the former first lady is a candidate.
Fox News and Dominion Voting Not Owned By Same Company, Contrary to Online Posts
Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for defamation, alleging the news organization spread lies about the company after the 2020 election. After the suit was settled, social media posts falsely claimed that Fox and Dominion Voting Systems were owned by the same company, BlackRock. BlackRock does not own any shares of Dominion Voting Systems.
Kansas School Sports Act Doesn’t Require ‘Genital Inspections,’ Contrary to Online Posts
Kansas passed a bill allowing only “biologically female” students to play on girls’ and women’s athletic teams from elementary through college. Social media posts misleadingly claim the bill will allow “forced genital inspections” of students. The bill doesn’t mention genital inspections, and it leaves the implementation of policies up to schools’ governing bodies.
Posts Mislead on Rules for Guns at NRA Convention, Utah GOP Event
The three-day National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis allowed attendees to carry firearms, except for a two-hour period when former President Donald Trump and other leaders spoke in a hall secured by the Secret Service. Yet, social media posts from a Democratic advocacy group misleadingly claimed that “guns were BANNED at the NRA convention.”
Bogus Claim Targets Bud Light Partnership with Transgender Influencer
Bud Light partnered with a transgender social media influencer for a promotion during the NCAA March Madness tournament. Social media users responded with the false claim that the CEO of the company had resigned following a conservative backlash to the partnership. The claim originated in a fabricated article on a satirical website.
Early Release of ‘QAnon Shaman’ Due to Plea and Prison Protocols, Contrary to Online Claims
Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was sentenced to 41 months in prison for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, but he was released early to a halfway house on March 28 because of his plea agreement and prison protocols. Social media posts falsely claim that his release was due to videos shown by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson.
Posts on Social Media Use Different Photos of Fetterman to Boost Bogus Claim
Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman has been hospitalized since Feb. 15 for treatment of depression, an aftereffect of a stroke. Social media posts use two photos of Fetterman — taken years apart — to falsely claim the Democrats are using a body double for Fetterman. Differences in the photos are due to camera focal lengths and lenses, experts said.